Monday, 5 September 2016

III.18: Lizardfolk and the Dragonne

Mythic GME Chaos Rank: 2
Scene setup: d10=9 (unmodified)

Undertake a Perilous Journey

Navigate(Anaya): 2D6(4 4) +1 = 9 Partial success.
You encounter a Danger

Jungle east of Newthrone, Q’barra
Nymm 7, 997 YK

After spending three weeks in the human city of Newthrone, Nyseris was glad to be back in their native jungle. Nyseris, Anaya, and Esthana had set out two days after their discussion about the danger of House Tharashk; their goal was to meet with leaders of the lizardfolk tribes in this part of the jungle, and persuade them to resist Tharashk’s incursions.

They left the elf, Vaalyun, behind. Nyseris understood the advantage of persuading the humans’ leaders to stop the incursions into the jungle, but the ranger did not trust Vaalyun and did not believe his assertion that the some of the gul siksta tribes had bargained with the orc prospectors. To Nyseris, that seemed a betrayal of the very purpose of their alliance to protect the jungle.

For summer, the jungle was relatively cool, with a strong breeze blowing in from Adder Bay to the south. The Templars still found it hot, of course, but Nyseris considered it comfortable weather for travelling.

Scout Ahead(Nyseris): 2D6(1 6) +1 = 8 Partial success.
You get the drop on whatever lies ahead
Is it Blackscales looking for Anaya & party Somewhat likely (Based on previous GM moves, it’s an established threat).
Fate d100(61)=No

A random Perilous Wilds’ encouter, then.

It was the afternoon of the second day in the jungle when a jungle cat crossed the path ahead, and Nyseris sensed that something was wrong; the creature was moving south, when it would normally have taken a more easterly path, to avoid the shafts of afternoon sunlight creating blind spots in its vision. Alerted, the ranger now saw that there were slightly fewer birds in the trees above them, and other changes in the fauna that only one that had spent their life in this jungle would consider strange.

“There is s–something ahead ahead of us.” Nyseris had stopped and waited for the two Templars, only twenty feet behind, to catch up. “Something disturbing the wildlife.”

Esthana tightened the straps of her pack, and loosened her sword in its sheathe, eyeing the jungle around them—though not seeing any of the things that Nyseris had noted.

Anaya asked “Should we backtrack and take another path?”

“Stay here—quietly—while I see what lies ahead,” said Nyseris, gesturing to a reasonably well concealed spot behind a tree. The Templars did as was bid, and Nyseris moved forward silently through the undergrowth.

The ranger had gone only ten yards when they saw the first picket moving amidst the trees. There were two lizardfolk, armed with bows, posted on a tree stump on some slightly higher ground, watching the jungle here. They were much smaller than Nyseris, only a little over three feet tall: that meant they were of the Poison Dust tribes.

Lizardfolk(Nyseris): If you are out of sight for even a moment in an area of jungle, you can become hidden.
Investigate(Nyseris): 2D6(6 4) +0 = 10 Success!
You put it all together

Nyseris waited for the scouts to be looking away, and moved off to circle around them, using the lie of the land and the often thick jungle foliage to stay hidden. The presence of not one but two lookouts, and the disturbed jungle creatures, suggested a large camp ahead, but Nyseris wanted to see for themself.

My random encounter was: lizardfolk, hostile, horde, resting/eating. Since Mythic already determined that they are not Blackscales, I went for another hostile grouping that exists in Q’barra.

Sure enough, on getting a little closer and coming from a different angle, Nyseris could now see the edge of the camp through the trees. The smell of multiple campfires drifted in this direction, and many of the small lizardfolk could be seen between the trees. Nyseris turned and headed back.

Nyseris found the Templars in the same spot, sweating under their cloaks to keep their mail from catching the sunlight.

“It is a large camp of Poison Dust lizardfolk—perhaps forty or more. The Poison Dust are servants–s of the Blackscales, the enemies of my tribes,” Nyseris explained. “We must move away.”

Nyseris led them away from the camp, putting a half-mile between them and the Poison Dust. The group stopped beside a small brook to consider their options.

“It is not normal for such a large group to be away from their village, and this close to Newthrone,” said Nyseris.

“Then why are they here?” asked Anaya.

“They might have the same goal as we do—stopping the jungle incursions by humans and orcs.”

“But they would still kill us if they found us, I suppose,” said Anaya.

“You are intruders–s too, of a different kind. If they are searching for outsiders in the jungle, they will find your tracks; we will need to cover them. Let us proceed to Arkent’tar.”

Let’s bend Nyseris’ Hunt and Track for use in covering the party’s tracks, for lack of anything more appropriate.

Hunt and Track(Nyseris): 2D6(3 6) +1 = 10 Success!
They cannot follow you.

Mythic GME Chaos Rank: 3
Scene setup: d10=7 (unmodified)

The lizardfolk village that they were heading for, Arkent’tar, was on higher ground astride a ridge in the jungle. To the Templars, it no doubt appeared similar to Xemdaresh, but Nyseris noted that the higher, rockier ground must have been chosen to make it more defensible against attack. There was probably a natural spring hereabouts that had allowed the village to be founded here.

Nyseris led the Templars openly up the slope through the trees, not attempting any concealment from the village’s scouts. Soon enough they were spotted, and two armed lizardfolk moved to bar their approach. Like Nyseris, these lizardfolk were over six foot tall; this tribe had green and red scales with sea-blue tails.

The first of the scouts called to them in Draconic. “Stop, strangers!” The other raised a shrill cry to alert the village beyond.

Nyseris gestured to Anaya and Esthana to stop.

“What brings you to our lands?” asked the first scout.

Parley(Nyseris): 2D6(1 5) -1 = 5 Failure!
Tell them the requirements or consequences and ask: Run or disarm

“We must speak with the leader of your tribe,” said Nyseris, also in Draconic. “We would talk of the outsiders that come to your lands, and of how to stop them stealing the sacred shards.”

“We know you not, and you bring outsiders!” the scout replied. Behind them, several more of the tribe’s warriors were advancing through the trees. “Lay down your weapons!”

Show a downside to their class, race, or equipment: it’s hard to make a flaming sword not look threatening.

Defy Danger(CHA)(Esthana): 2D6(6 5) -1 = 10 Success!
They don’t take it as hostile

“We must put down our weapons,” said Nyseris, in Common, to her companions. Anaya nodded and took out her sword, laying it down on the ground; Esthana hesitated rather longer, then drew out her sword. As she did so, silver fire flickered around the blade as always. This immediately drew the gaze of every lizardfolk present, and Esthana was particularly careful to make no sudden moves, slowly lowering the sword to the ground.

“The silver fire!” said the second scout, and a couple of the other warriors repeated this also, clearly amazed by the weapon.

“Bring them, and their weapons, before the chieftain,” said the first scout.

Mythic GME Chaos Rank: 4
Scene setup: d10=4 (Interrupt!)

Event: PC Negative(Anaya): d100 (72) = Arrive, d100 (70) = Extravagance
Let your moves snowball: We said that Tharashk was paying off some of these tribes. Location move(Use a threat from an existing faction): House Tharashk

They were led to the centre of the village. Like most lizardfolk settlements, there was a large communal bonfire at the centre, and this one had just been lit for the evening; around it were the huts of the chieftain and other tribesfolk of importance, larger than those that they passed nearer the village’s edge.

They had an escort of six lizardfolk warriors now. Now that they were near the chieftain’s hut, there was some chatter between the lizardfolk, and then one of them turned to Nyseris.

“The chieftain is busy—you will wait here until they are ready.”

And so they waited. They received many suspicious stares from the tribesfolk, but apart from the guards they were left alone as the lizardfolk carried on their tasks, building up the great fire for the evening and starting to prepare the evening meal. Nyseris wondered what could be so important that the chieftain would not deal with outsiders immediately.

After about fifteen minutes, the door of the chieftain’s hut was finally thrown open, and a tall orc emerged. He was as tall as the lizardfolk but better armed, with finely-tailored leather armour and sigils embossed on his metal bracers. It took only a moment to recognise him: it was the commander of the Tharashk mercenaries that had attacked Nyseris in the Dragon’s Hoard last month.

He did not recognise Nyseris amongst the other lizardfolk, but his eye was drawn to the Templars. He walked over; after him, two humans and a half-orc emerged from the hut and followed him closely. His mercenaries were not so finely equipped, but all carried swords and shields.

Both Templars recognised him also; Esthana tensed at his approach, aware that she was unarmed before an enemy that she had nearly killed once. The orc addressed himself to Anaya, however.

Reveal an unwelcome truth: House Tharashk is potentially alerted to the party’s interesting in their activities.

Is this orc from the Torrn clan? 50:50 (There are two main clans).
Fate d100(12)=Yes

“So we meet again, Templar. I did not expect it to be out in the jungle, of all places. I am Xulag Torrn.”

Behind him, the chieftain of the lizardfolk and two of his guards had emerged also, and were watching the outsiders meet.

Anaya kept her tone of voice neutral; meeting the Tharashk mercenaries was the last thing that they wanted. “Lady Anaya, Templar of the Silver Flame. I hope that your wounds healed well.”

The orc grunted dismissively. “If we were alone, I would kill you for your insolence. What are you doing here?”

Defy Danger(INT)(Anaya): 2D6(4 6) +1 = 11 Success!
You get it

Crisis averted; the orc is suspicious but has no idea that they are there specifically to counter Tharashk.

“There are said to be demon cultists that gather in this jungle. We are seeking them out.”

Another grunt. “The lizardfolk do not tolerate outsiders in their lands, human. You have more immediate problems than cultists.”

Defy Danger(DEX)(Esthana): 2D6(2 1) +2 = 5 Failure!
Deal damage: d10= 4 damage

He glanced across at Esthana briefly, then looked away; but a moment later, he struck out with his fist. The punch caught her in the chin and sent her sprawling in the dirt. While Esthana lay dazed, he quickly reached for his belt knife.

Parley(Anaya): 2D6(4 4) +1 = 9 Partial success.
Worse outcome: he gets one more attack

“No!” shouted Anaya. “We yielded our weapons peacefully at your request—stop him!”

Defy Danger(DEX)(Esthana): 2D6(4 1) +2 = 7 Partial success.
Worse outcome

Xulag’s knife came down at her throat, but Esthana got her arm, clad in mail, up in time to block the stroke. They struggled for a few seconds—the orc pressing down, Esthana straining to keep the dagger away with her one arm—and then the spears of the lizardfolk around them were pointed at them, forcing the orc to back away.

“I will pay you two hundred gold coin for these two,” said Xulag. “They have caused me trouble in the past, and I wish to see that they do not do so again.”

“He attacked this lizardfolk in Newthrone, and we came to their defence,” said Anaya. “Any argument between us is his creation. He would kill us if he could, as you have seen.”

Parley(Anaya): 2D6(2 6) +1 = 9 Partial success.
Evidence required

“It is true,” said Nyseris (in Draconic). “This orc’s thugs attacked me without provocation, and these humans came to my aid.”

The chieftain signalled their warriors to relax their guard on the orc, but to keep him away from the Templars. “We do not trade in living things, Xulag. Your business here is done—you may leave.” The chieftain spoke in Common, but slowly and with difficulty.

The orc spat on the ground, but turned away; he stalked out of the village, his bodyguards close behind him.

Discern Realities(Anaya): 2D6(3 2) +3 = 8 Partial success.
What here is not what it appears to be?

Time to show those extravagances.

The chieftain stood before them. The other lizardfolk were dressed like Nyseris, with just leather straps to hold their weapons or tools, but the chieftain wore the upper part of a skull of a giant toad over their head to denote their rank. In addition to that, there were adornments not typical of the lizardfolk: a longsword with a handle wrapped in dyed leather straps and embossed with the symbol of the dragonne—House Tharashk’s sigil. And there were several fine silver necklaces hanging around their neck, certainly not manufactured by the lizardfolk. Nyseris exchanged a knowing glance with Anaya, thinking the elf is right, the tribes have bargained with the orcs..

“I am chieftain Xeirgoulus, of the Cold Dragon tribe. What brought you to our lands, outsiders–s.” They addressed themselves mainly to Anaya. Esthana had stood up and had removed her helmet, but still looked a little dazed.

Anaya needs to do something to break the ice here; just starting with asking them to undo the deal that they just did with House T would be a hard sell indeed.

Cast a Spell(Light)(Anaya): 2D6(2 5) +3 = 10 Success!
Got it

“I am Lady Anaya, of the Templars of the Silver Flame.” As she spoke, Anaya lifted her hand and it suddenly burned brightly with the silver fire; there were sharp intakes of breath from the lizardfolk all around, and even the chieftain looked shocked. “We serve the Flame, seeking out and destroying evil and corruption throughout Khorvaire. We come here to prevent a great evil.”

Xeirgoulus turned, looking to their tribe’s wise one—once again wearing Eberron dragonshards around their neck—standing amongst their group. In draconic, they said, “Is this a trick? Do they truly bear the silver fire?” “Yes, it is the true fire,” replied their wise one.

“Come into my home, servant of the Fire,” said Xeirgoulus.

The hut itself was crude, but inside it was simply but comfortably fitted out with furs and wooden furniture. The wise one and a few of the tribe’s warriors joined them, still watching the Templars and Nyseris carefully. Anaya had left the fire surrounding her hand—no doubt to remind those that she was dealing with of her connection to the Flame.

“Speak, then, of what you seek here.”

“Masvirik is stirring,” said Anaya.

“The gul siksta s–stirs?” The chieftain looked at the wise one in other in alarm; the lizardfolk warriors did not seem to understand Common. “Why do you think this?”

Aid(Esthana): 2D6(5 4) +1 = 10 Success!
Parley(Aided)(Anaya): 2D6(5 3) +1+1 = 10 Success!
They believe you

“The Silver Flame showed it to us in a vision. The Blackscales seek to release a dragon that is imprisoned with Masvirik, weakening the bonds of silver fire that bind them.”

“It is true,” added Esthana. “I saw a vision also, of the dragon stirring in the darkness.”

“The Blackscales!” The chieftain was visibly angered, the spines on their back bristling as they now paced back and forth. “And they seek to free their corruptor, Rhashaak!”

“Rhashaak is the black dragon? It is an ally of the lizardfolk?”

“Yes; thousands of years ago, the dragon turned the Blackscales–s against our alliance, leading them to become its servants. Now they serve the one that slithers in the dark: Masvirik!”

“It is the Silver Flame—the silver fire—that binds Masvirik in the darkness, protecting all of Eberron from its evil.”

“Yes, the silver fire protects all from evil.”

“The sacred dragonshards in the jungle, such as those that your chieftain wear—are imbued with the Silver—with the silver fire. They were placed here for a reason; the fire wards the jungle against Masvirik’s release.”

Xeirgoulus had stopped and was looking at Anaya again now.

“If House Tharashk takes too many of the dragonshards, it will weaken the silver fire, until the prison no longer holds. There must be no more trade with House Tharashk, and they must be driven out of the jungle. If you do not, in time Masvirik will return and claim this whole land for its own.”

The chieftain looked stunned. They turned to the wise one, looking for guidance; the wise one said, in Draconic, “The shards are sacred, as I have always said. To trade them away weakens the great fire that watches over us.”

After some seconds, the chieftain turned back to the Templars. “You touch a great power, Templar; I have not heard of your order, but perhaps the gul siksta tribes should know of it. We will cease trade with the orc house; it may cost us now, but a greater evil dwells beneath these jungles that would do more harm than a thousand orcs.”

“The Silver Flame watches over the Cold Dragon tribe,” said Anaya; it was a clumsy phrase, Nyseris thought, like much of what the cleric said of the lizardfolk, but her attempt at diplomacy was not wasted, and Xeirgoulus seemed to appreciate it. “We will rally other tribes, and we seek to disrupt House Tharashk’s operations from Newthrone; hopefully together we can prevent their incursions into your lands.”

Make Camp(party): Heal
End of Session(party): Nyseris resolves her bond with Vaalyun, even though he is not present: she found that he was right. Anaya met her alignment goal, +1 XP.

XP: Anaya: 0 failures, alignment goal; at 4XP.
Esthana: 1 failure; now at 9XP.
Nyseris: 1 failure, 1 bond resolved; at 4XP.
Vaalyun: 0 failures; at 8XP.

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